More than 30 women from across the building services sector met recently to discuss the issue of diversity in the construction industry.
The women in trades event was organised by NICEIC in conjunction with leading charity Women on the Tools.
Those in attendance also included Baroness Sue Garden - a Liberal Democrat life peer in the House of Lords who leads on Further and Higher Education and Skills, and Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills – an organisation dedicated to promoting the benefits of skilled workers across the globe.
Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC commented: “By bringing together professionals from across the industry we can look at what is and what isn’t working and formulate a plan to instigate change within the trades sector.”
The group heard from a variety of speakers including a female electrician who works for a maintenance firm in London with contracts for many of the large retail stores in and around Oxford Street.
She is the only female out of 250 staff who work for the company and illustrated the day to day problems of that by stating that women’s’ toilets are often locked up at night – the assumption being that maintenance workers doing a night shift will be men.
Emma added: “It was clear, from listening to all the personal stories in the room, that the route into construction was not a simple one.
“We need to make choosing a career in construction more appealing to women. They need to feel comfortable with the choice and be encouraged along the way. We need to shape the way the industry is viewed by women.
“It was inspiring to see so many female role-models in one room who have made their way in the construction sector. These are the people we need to promote and show how construction can be a rewarding career choice for everyone.”